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Author Topic: Do bomber formations have a leader?
jchivers
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Member # 2007

posted 02-06-2000 11:11 PM     Profile for jchivers   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Is there any advantage to taking out the leader aircraft in a bombing formation?

How can you get a bomber formation to scatter?


Posts: 3 | From: Perth, WA, Australia | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
RossC
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posted 02-07-2000 12:21 AM     Profile for RossC   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
If you damage him badly enough, the rest of the formation will fly into the ground with him. That works best with German formations in the BoB, they don't have as far to coast down as the US heavies. Whether you see that as a benefit or no, I dunno. Just get the He111's leaders engines smoing glycol (gray/white smoke) and he slows down and starts dropping. I once saw an entire formation of He111's land in England, and then see their crews run away from the planes! It was bizarre - this was around London, so a number of them also crashed right into buildings - the plane following would land in the wreckage.

For US bomber formations, you can do that with section leaders - they seem to fly in vics of 3. Culling those 3 out of the herd makes it a lot safer for you, however once you shoot them down, you're normally rather low with the rest of the formation miles away and above.

If you're going to do that, you can't damage the bomber too badly, because he will just dump his bombs and try a dash for home. Just get the engines smoking white smoke (presumably oil for the US planes), and maybe shoot out an engine completely, but no more than that, just to guarantee he'll keep trying for the target.

I've never seen a bomber formation scatter, except for the Ju87's in the BoB.

~Ross


Posts: 394 | From: Williams Lake, BC, Canada | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Waynio
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posted 02-07-2000 01:05 AM     Profile for Waynio   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Actually there are other bombers that scatter under fire: Me110s, Ju88s (1943 onwards, not BoB), and Mosquitoes. Some EAW Jerry bombers are legendary for dumb evasive maneuvers too close to the ground -- what I call the "Splat-S"!

Posts: 180 | From: San Francisco, CA | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
markgos
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posted 02-07-2000 07:51 PM     Profile for markgos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
When attacking the US bombers there is a big advantage in taking out the lead element (3 aircraft).
What I've found is if you take out this element the group is more likely to fragment into sub groups.
I generally target the lead bomber on the first pass and hopefully wing one of his wingmen also. This is usually a lot easier when the targets are B-24's as the wingroots are made out of balsa wood

Posts: 31 | From: Sydney, NSW, Australia | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
jchivers
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Member # 2007

posted 02-07-2000 07:52 PM     Profile for jchivers   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for the information, I usually attack the tail end plane as it is the least protected. I will try a high dive onto the lead planes next time.
Posts: 3 | From: Perth, WA, Australia | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
wulf_pilot
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posted 02-07-2000 08:18 PM     Profile for wulf_pilot   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Ive found that the lead plane always has nose art of some kind. If you take him out the formations tend to loosen up and some bombers stray.
Posts: 222 | From: Stanhope New Jersey USA | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
RossC
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posted 02-07-2000 08:34 PM     Profile for RossC   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
You know what I've found? Attacking the lead plane is safer than attacking the tail-end Charlie. Fly over the formation, and dive on him - very easy, just make sure you plan which way to break off your firing pass. It's very easy to pick the wrong way and either smash into his wingie, or make your egress through the greatest field of fire. Be patient. If you make these diving attacks, the escorts won't bother you, either, mainly because you spend most of your time flying away from the formation.

~Ross


Posts: 394 | From: Williams Lake, BC, Canada | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Opa
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Member # 125

posted 02-08-2000 04:28 AM     Profile for Opa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
If your attacking amis, don't use Alt-N. Keep flying to the target(Don't fly straight at the bombers before you're over the target). Now fly against the bombers. When you select target nearest, you'll target the leader.(Unless the escorts are ahead of the formation). If you damage the lead bomber, he'll drag the rest of the formation down with him, where they're all easy picks for flak. There's also a possibility that the entire formation will break when the leader finally breaks out of formation.

------------------
Der Opa


Posts: 710 | From: Sandnes, Rogaland, Norway | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

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